A 53-year-old man from Arizona has been arrested after he left his five-year-old granddaughter in the middle of the desert with a ready to fire handgun, and with instruction to “shoot any bad guys”.
Paul Armand Rater had taken his grandchild out on Sunday, driving from their home in Buckeye out to the desert. Four hours later, police received a report that the child was missing.
The youngster was left unattended but Rater did make some attempt to ensure her safety, albeit it was by entrusting a child barely of school age with a cocked and loaded .45-calibre handgun. Maybe not quite the best idea a grandparent’s ever had?
Before causing harm to herself or anyone else, the five-year-old was thankfully located by her mother and an off-duty firefighter, pistol in hand.
Police then found Rater in a store where he attempted to justify his actions, claiming their truck had broken down and his granddaughter said she was incapable of walking any further.
An almost plausible – although not quite sane – alibi, were it not for the fact the sheriff’s office reported he admitted providing her with the weapon “while he went for a few drinks and a cheeseburger”.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said:
She was given the gun and told to shoot any bad guys. I don’t know how a five-year-old can tell a good guy from a bad guy but that’s what she said she was told.
Rater stands accused of two counts of felony child abuse and one count of felony child endangerment.
And according to personal review website Mylife.com, Rater may have just proven himself slightly untrustworthy.
If he didn’t want to babysit, surely he could have just said?